Today’s post will be pretty short, I just want to share a simple way to make snapshots of your little one pop a bit more. This should work equally well for dogs, cats and various other critters as well.
My interest in photography mostly lies in creating an image to match the vision I have for it, to control every aspect of the shot until it suits me. I’m not really interested in taking family snapshots – though I agree some great moments and lovely photos can be captured, it’s just not what I’m interested in. However, when you’re the father of a daughter as cute as mine, sometimes you just get the urge to hunt her down and shoot her.
The problem that arise on these hunts is one of light, or rather the lack of it. More often than not you’ll find yourself in less than well lit locations and my camera has far from stellar ISO performance. As a result I’ll usually end up with blurry or noisy images, or both. Of course you can use simple bounce flash but it’s kind of boring and sometimes you don’t have anything suitable to bounce it on. Solution: get the flash off the camera and simply hand hold it to the side. The only limitation is the length of your arm.
The easiest way to do this would of course be with a TTL capable flash, however, those are more expensive than their manual counter parts and I have no use for TTL capability most of the time, so manual it is. Doing this manually is a bit trickier; first you have to decide on the settings and then make sure the flash is pretty much the same distance from the subject in every shot, which is a lot easier said than done. As a result I sometimes end up with blown out highlights but I think it’s an acceptable tradeoff. If you want to be a bit more adventurous you can of course vary the angle of the light as well.
To me, no matter how you look at it, these results are a lot better than what you would get with bounce flash or, dare I say it, popup flash. The directional light you get gives the subject so much more shape a and depth. So, a simple tip for simple, yet much improved, results. Of course, the main reason for me to tell you all this was to show off how cute my daughter is. It’s ok though, I’m a father so I’m allowed to brag about my offspring sometimes.
Next time you’ll get a lengthier post with both something new and quite a lot of old. Now off you go, find something cute to shoot.